“This study from the regulatory authority charged with ensuring electric reliability bolsters arguments made by electric co-ops and others that the EPA’s interim deadlines are, quite simply, not workable,” Emerson said.
The report by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. said additional transmission and natural gas infrastructure will not be in service in time necessary to meet EPA’s proposed emissions limits on the power sector.
NERC also found that the Clean Power Plan’s accelerated shift in baseload generation from coal to natural gas would require investments in new transmission and generation and “significantly increase overall costs.”
Under the NERC analysis, about 43 gigawatts of generation would be retired in state cases and another 41 GW in regional cases between 2016 and 2020 to meet the rule’s interim deadline for carbon dioxide reductions of 80 percent.
Emerson said EPA’s data projects that co-ops will have to shutter about 21 percent of their coal generation by 2025—nearly 5,700 megawatts—to comply.
“NERC’s modeling, however, shows that the generation and transmission additions necessary to fulfill the capacity requirements would not be completed until 2031, at the earliest,” Emerson said.
Coal’s move from baseload to peaking generation under the rule is expected to result in significantly higher maintenance and fixed costs to support a plant’s operation, NERC said.
For electric co-ops, Emerson said that the NERC assessment “adds an important, focused perspective to the debate over how the EPA’s Clean Power Plan would affect electric reliability.”
“While we wish EPA had not given reliability such short shrift prior to issuing the draft Clean Power Plan, we firmly believe it is now incumbent on the agency to heed NERC’s warnings before the rule is finalized,” she said.
EPA plans to finalize the rule this summer.
See the article here.
- On April 30, 2015